English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.
In English, students learn about the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected. Complexity increases as students progress through their schooling.
Developing proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident communicators; critical and imaginative thinkers; lifelong learners; and informed, active participants in Australian society. Their understanding of English through knowledge and skills acquisition is essential to their intellectual, social and emotional development.
The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.
In Year 11 and 12, the study of English is mandatory. Courses offered include:
- English Extension 2
- English Extension 1
- English Advanced
- English Standard
- English Studies
- English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
- English Life Skills.
The study of English at Macquarie Fields High School aims to develop a love of literature and learning. Through responding to and composing texts from Year 7 to 10, students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, knowledge and enjoyment.
Students engage with and explore texts that include widely acknowledged quality literature of past and contemporary societies and engage with the literature and literary heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. By composing and responding with imagination, feeling, logic, and conviction, students develop understanding of themselves and of human experience and culture.
Students learn English through explicit teaching of language and through their engagement with a diverse range of multimodal texts. They examine the contexts of language usage to understand how meaning is shaped by a variety of social factors. They are able to question, assess, challenge and reformulate information and use creative and analytical language to identify and clarify issues and solve problems. They become imaginative and confident users of a range of JCT modes. These skills and understandings allow them to develop their control of language in ways that will help them in their journey of lifelong learning.
Curriculum directions for senior English
Last December, year 12 English students completed their first assessment task for the new HSC – a presentation on the Common module, Texts and Human Experiences. All students showed great creativity and positivity towards the task. They have set a high standard.
An important change to the curriculum for senior students is that the number of school-based assessment tasks has been capped to four in year 12 and three in year 11. This means that we have a stronger focus on formative assessment conducted throughout the year.
As part of the formative assessment, each senior student is required to organise their writing in a Process Writing Portfolio (PWP) as part of the English work. The PWP is a place for students to develop their writing style, voice and confidence. Throughout the year students are assigned a number of writing tasks that require them to respond to the texts and ideas studied in class. Typically, these tasks will require a process of drafting, feedback, editing and reflection.
Priorities for 2019
In 2019, the English faculty will continue to implement the new HSC for year 11 and 12 students. Additionally, we will develop plans and strategies to re-design and implement learning programs for students in years 7 to 10. These new programs will keep our curriculum resources fresh and dynamic. It will also complement students’ skills and build towards the requirements they need for the new HSC syllabus.
Portfolios are a significant way in which the English Faculty embed formative assessment into programs. They are a way of generating student pride and ownership in their writing. Every student , years 7-10, is required to submit a portfolio that is a record of their most significant pieces of work during the year.
Included in the portfolio are mandatory pieces of work that are outlined on the year portfolio assessment sheet. Additionally students are required to submit independent pieces of work that are determined by the student. All work must show evidence of editing, drafting and there must be a final 'publishable' copy provided. This reflects the faculty’s commitment to writing as a process and a product. The portfolio will be awarded a grade which will form a significant part of the overall grade that each student receives at the end of the year.
If a portfolio is not submitted, or, is handed in late the penalties as outlined in the Year Assessment booklets will apply.
Reading is an important way young people learn about the world. It offers different perspectives on the world around us and can foster a person’s imagination. Over time, it helps build the writing skills that are required in the senior years of high school. Research shows that regular reading improves the clarity and sophistication of students’ written work.
For the habit of reading to take hold it needs to be pleasurable. We encourage our students to regularly read for enjoyment. As a faculty, we are committed to providing students with opportunities to read. We invite you to help support your child’s reading by giving them regular opportunities to read at home. 20 minutes a day is a great start.
One of the requirements in English is that students keep a log of their reading and have it signed by their parent/guardian. This is designed to encourage reading at home, help your child keep track of their progress and discuss their reading choices with you.